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Study: 'Don't Ask' Repeal Won't Cause Long-Term Problems

Breaking news from the Associated Press about the Pentagon study on what would happen if the law that bars openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military is repealed. According to the AP, the study:

"Has determined that overturning the law known as 'don't ask, don't tell'' might cause some disruption at first, but would not create any widespread or long-lasting problems. The findings were confirmed by two people familiar with them. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the results hadn't been publicly released."

The study is due for release around 2:15 p.m. ET. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen (who both favor repealing don't ask, don't tell) are scheduled to talk to reporters as well.

Update at 2:15 p.m. ET:

The survey shows that repealing the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy would not produce "the wrenching, dramatic change that many have feared and predicted," Gates just said.

The House has already passed legislation to repeal don't ask, don't tell, and "I strongly urge the Senate to pass this legislation and send it to the president for his signature before the end of this year," Gates said. His concern: If action is delayed, courts may become even more involved in the issue and that could make the Pentagon's job more difficult.

Update at 2 p.m. ET.From the Pentagon, NPR's Tom Bowman reports that:

-- 115,000 men and women in uniform were surveyed for the report. Of those, 70 percent said allowing openly gay people to serve in the military would either have no effect, a mixed effect or would be positive.

-- A "significant minority" -- 30% -- of those surveyed oppose allowing openly gay men and women to serve.

-- One key conclusion is that the risk to military effectiveness of a don't ask, don't tell repeal is low.

-- The officers in charge of the report recommend that any service members kicked out of the military in the past because they are gay should be allowed to apply for re-entry.

-- Most of those in combat arms of the services said they had worked with someone who they believed to be gay and and that it caused no problems.

Update at 1:10 p.m. ET:When the report is released, it's supposed to be posted here.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.